Mining Intelligence and News

Santa Barbara Mine

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Mine TypeUnderground
  • Zinc
  • Lead
  • Copper
  • Silver
  • Gold
Mining Method
  • Longhole open stoping
  • Cut & Fill
  • Shrinkage stoping
  • Bench stoping
Backfill type ... Lock
Production Start... Lock
SnapshotSanta Barbara includes three main underground mines (San Diego, Segovedad and Tecolotes) and a flotation plant and produces lead, copper and zinc concentrates, with significant amounts of silver.
Related AssetIMMSA Operation


Grupo Mexico, S.A.B. de C.V. 88.87 % Indirect
Ownership Tree
Industrial Minera Mexico, S.A. de C.V. (together with its subsidiaries, the “IMMSA unit”) operates five underground mines that produce zinc, lead, copper, silver and gold, a coal mine and a zinc refinery.

IMMSA’s principal mining facilities include Charcas, Santa Barbara, San Martin, Santa Eulalia and Taxco.



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Deposit type

  • Vein / narrow vein


The mineral deposits of Ag-Pb-Zn quartz veins of the Santa Bárbara mining district are hosted in sedimentary rocks of the Cretaceous formed by carbonaceous shales and calcareous siltstones and minor lenses of limestone of the Parral Formation. The hydrothermal solutions, possibly emanating from an intrusive body suspected to be at depth, were introduced in into the fracture systems (Scott, 1958). According to the mineralogy of the veins, which includes sphalerite, galena, chalcopyrite, pyrite, and arsenopyrite, the deposit is considered as hypothermal formed at high temperature according to Lindgren’s classification. The pre-mineral rock types found at Santa Barbara consist of a thick calcareous shale formation and andesite flows. The postmineral rock types consist of dikes and sills of rhyolite and diabase, a thin conglomerate formation, basalt flows, and unconsolidated stream sediments. Pre-mineral faulting took place in two stages, forming four fault systems. All faults within each system have similar strike and dip. Movement along these faults, vertical in the first-stage faults and horizontal in the second stage faults, formed openings and breccia zones. Hydrothermal solutions, emanating from depth, were introduced into the faults. The walls and breccia fragments within the faults were silicified, and the high-temperature silicates, garnet, pyroxene, and epidote were formed. Accompanying and following the formation of the silicates, the sulfides, such as sphalerite, galena, chalcopyrite, pyrite, and arsenopyrite, with associated gold and a silver mineral, were introduced with quartz, calcite, and fluorite. Most of these minerals replaced the silicates and altered shale. The parts of the faults where wide pre-mineral openings were located filled with quartz and a higher ratio of sulfides than in the narrow portions of the faults. Quartz, calcite, fluorite, and barite were among the last minerals deposited. The lead, zinc, copper, silver, and gold mineralization present at Santa Bárbara is associated to quartz veins and fault veins hosted by sedimentary rocks of the Parral Formation (Cretaceous). Three vein systems are currently in exploitation: • Segovedad; • Tecolotes; • San Diego. IMMSA has identified ore-shoots of up to several hundred meters in length and of more than 500 m in vertical extension, which are found in structural zones in the three vein systems. Vein width varies from less than a meter up to 20 m. Pb-Zn-Ag quartz veins are localized along small displacement faults that cut obliquely across the hinge zone of a broad asymmetric anticline. Single veins are more or less continuous for distances up to 800 m. Veins average about 1.5 m wide but locally may pinch and swell from several centimeters to as much as 3 m in width. Pb-Zn-Ag mineralization is found over a vertical extent of more than 500 m. The mineralization was emplaced in several distinct vein stages that display cross-cutting relationships. Stage 1 ores contain massive sulfides: sphalerite, galena, and very minor chalcopyrite. Stage 2 ores contain abundant calc-silicates, chalcopyrite, and a small amount of gold, but only minor sphalerite and galena. Silver was deposited during both stages, but the bulk of the silver was associated with galena and deposited in Stage 1. Stages 3 and 4 contain quartz, calcite, and fluorite and are not important ore-bearing stages. In addition to their occurrence in veins, silver, lead, and zinc are also present in replacement bodies in the San Francisco del Oro-Santa Bárbara. In the district as a whole, greater than 95% of the ore comes from veins. Wall-Rock Alteration The style and mineralogy of vein-related alteration differs both with the stage of veining (early sulfide rich or late calc-silicate rich) and with the composition of the enclosing rocks. Early sulfide-rich veins have alteration envelopes composed of epidote, axinite, chlorite, minor andradite, and quartz. Late calc-silicate-rich veins have envelopes composed of fine-grained manganoan hedenbergite, andradite, axinite, monticellite (Ca Mg - SiO4), and quartz. In general, where a vein crosses a calcareous horizon, calc-silicates have been deposited. Where the vein crosses a carbonaceous horizon, there are far fewer calc-silicates. Alteration generally does not extend far into the wall rock. Alteration along Stage 1 veins is usually limited to within 1 or 2 m of the vein and is characterized by an inner zone of epidote, chlorite, and axinite and by an outer zone of fine-grained quartz and recrystallized calcite. Alteration zones developed along Stage 2 veins are generally much wider than those around Stage 1 veins, sometimes extending up to 25 m into the enclosing rocks. Alteration within 2 or 3 m of Stage 2 veins is pervasive and intense. Rock texture and bedding are completely destroyed within 1 m of the vein. The total extension of the Tecolotes, Segovedad, and San Diego vein systems vary from 3 to 6.5 km along strike, and the vertical extension of the shoots have a vertical extension of up to 600 m in Segovedad, 800 m in San Diego, and 500 m in Tecolotes. Some of the high-grade shoots are open at depth.



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Mining Methods


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Crushers and Mills


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Zinc Concentrate kt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe5249465561
Lead Concentrate kt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe3130243231
Copper Concentrate kt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe11118.71011
Zinc Metal in concentrate M lbs  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe6056546472
Lead Metal in concentrate M lbs  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe39373242
Silver Metal in concentrate kg  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe103,319103,29987,232109,224
Gold Metal in concentrate kg  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe140141131166
Copper Metal in concentrate M lbs  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe12109.16.2

Operational metrics

Daily milling capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe5,800 t5,800 t
Annual milling capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe2,190 kt2,190 kt2,190 kt2,190 kt2,190 kt
Ore tonnes mined  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe1,637 kt1,671 kt1,337 kt
Tonnes milled  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe1,637 kt1,671 kt1,337 kt1,525 kt1,556 kt

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.


Book Value M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 59.9   64.5   65.9  

Heavy Mobile Equipment


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Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 21, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 21, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 21, 2024

EmployeesTotal WorkforceYear
...... Subscription required 2023
...... Subscription required 2022
...... Subscription required 2021
...... Subscription required 2014

Aerial view:


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